Elvis Presley was not prone to alcoholic drink. Imbibing was not his thing. However, there is an album cover that remains questionable.
From shining sea to shining sea, Atlantic to Pacific, down to the Gulf of Mexico, these east, west and south bodies of water contained Elvis Presley physically. Aside from a few ventures across the Canadian border and his service duty notwithstanding, the Tupelo homegrown boy stayed homebound for his entire 42 years.
We claim him as our own, the rightful fair son of Lady Liberty and Uncle Sam, heir to the American Dream. But did you know while his actual body may have only trod on U.S. soil, his musical physique graced the globe? Many have no idea. I certainly didn’t until the recent few years.
Loyal well intentioned fans also claim they have “every record he ever made” and in no way would I want to burst their collecting bubble of adoration. The American catalog of RCA 45’s, EP’s and album covers are comfortingly familiar to us. We know those sights as well as we know our own family photos.
However, some of the most beautiful and creative works of art and homage to the King of Rock and Roll were designed in areas of the world far removed from his home base. Some of the most now expensive, rare and sought after displays of adoration and respect were designed by those who knew they had zero chance of a real life Elvis encounter. Did they design these as an alternative way to show their adoration?
Foreign RCA art departments marched to their own drum beat and sang along with their own choir of tender love songs, not satisfied to simply translate “Love Me Tender” to “Aname Tierno” and slap it on the same US cover. Certainly there were some, such as “Chicas! Chicas! Chicas!” on the well known “Girls! Girls! Girls!” photo cover, but it wasn’t always the case. It’s those exceptions that make the most interesting love notes.
In 1958, the RCA art department in Spain designed this color-fest of eye catching delight. (see photo) Was this the way they felt as they listened to him sing? Surely there is little in this design to assign to the songs specifically, but rather it was the overall feel the music presented. It was hip, bright, loud and exciting, same as the performer.
ROCK and ROLL (3-20154), a Spanish EP, 1958, was the first release in Spain to feature an Elvis song. It was a various artist EP that included “Mystery Train“ and “I Forgot to Remember to Forget” from the famed Sun label.
Many foreign countries’ first Elvis releases showed no photo of him on the cover, yet they sold well just the same.
So while our guy avoided alcohol, could the little green faced frenzied combo be the work of some Spanish wine filled artists? The backstory isn’t known but the fun artwork is a catchy sight to behold. Spain had it going on!
Do you have any international delights or have you gathered some new information? In the realm of Elvis, there is always much to learn.